Banned Book Tuesday: Winnie the Pooh
There are some days when I have to write posts and I know that the world, as I know it, is coming to an end. This is one of those days. As you have probably noticed, as the weeks have gone by, I have covered, in Banned Book Tuesday, the obvious books that have been banned. I sighed at the mention of Huck Finn, exclaimed at the banning of Little Women, and tried to reason with those who feel it necessary to ban Harry Potter and Twilight. Today, folks, I think we have reached the bottom of the barrel. What could be more sad than announcing that Where’s Waldo? is a banned book? What could be more soul crushing than thinking that some want to ban forever Shakespeare titles? The answer is here, folks. The worst thing I have heard and reported to this date is announced right here, right now on this Banned Book Tuesday. That’s right… I have to announce that the #22 most banned book by the ALA is no other than Winnie the Pooh. Yes, you have heard that correctly… Winnie the Pooh.
The fun loving, always hungry bear and his friends in 100 Acre Wood has offended not only those in America but is apparently quite the controversial character around the world. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you…
In Turkey, the book has been banned because of its character, Piglet. You know, the little pink pig that is too shy to do anything on his own so he follows around the others? Yes, well, apparently the Muslim groups that read this book found its interpretation of pork to be “a notorious character” (whatever that means). From what I have discovered, it appears that in the Muslim culture, the pig is a lowly species and by allowing Piglet to be a main character, it is giving children the wrong impression of the status of pigs.
In America, the book has been banned in many schools and some schools, particularly in the Midwest, have banned any articles of clothing that have the characters on them. One school, in Kansas, stated that Winnie the Pooh is an insult to God. I did not find any statement stating what part of the novel exactly they were against… Honestly, they probably just want something to fight about…
In 2009, Russia banned the book after they found a picture of Winnie the Pooh wearing swastika-covered clothing among the possessions of a national official. Winnie the Pooh ever since has been considered to be pro-Nazi and therefore, banned in the country. Because… I’m sure the willy, nilly, silly ol’ bear is really secretly drawing swastikas in his free time and NOT trying to find honey… yeah right!
Sigh… I have my head in my hands on my desk. How do I even continue typing this post? This is just getting ridiculous. Can any of this even be taken seriously anymore? Well, somebody is apparently taking it seriously – a whole lot of some bodies. Around the world… banning Winnie the Pooh…insane. I laugh with disbelief and smile knowing that although the tales may teach improper spelling to children (i.e. hunny), they teach the lesson of friendship and honesty. So go ahead, book banners, and fight to keep books like Winnie the Pooh away from children. Books that have no profanity, sexual tones, or horror themes (except for the heffalumps and woosles) are, I’m sure, just terrible for children to read. Someone, I think even after all of the effort to ban them, this series will live on from generation to generation because Eeyore, Rabbit, Pooh Bear, Tigger, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Christopher Robin have become like family to so many.